Sunday, January 16, 2011

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Whipped Vanilla Icing

Have you ever seen Pollyanna?  Well, in the end of the movie, there are lots of cakes in the kitchen at her house, layer cakes, and they look delicious.  I remember that being one of my favorite parts of the movie, I had never seen or had a piece of layer cake before.  I have always wanted to make one and I've only ever made a 2-layer cake.

As many of you know, last week, almost everyday one of us was sick.  I saw this cake on Annie's Eats last week and I really wanted to make it- one thing I've been craving is chocolate cake with vanilla icing.  She got the idea for the cake from the book The Pastry Queen (I've already added it to my wish list, my bday is just around the corner ;) I thought making this cake would be a good way to celebrate all of us being healthy again.

The icing recipe was really what stuck out at me because it only needed 1 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar and it was going to make enough icing to cover three layers.  I have been rationing my confectioner's sugar so that I have enough left for my last month here.  Plus, I thought that a cake that big would be too rich with a standard vanilla buttercream icing.

Before I put down the recipe, I need to note that this is the LARGEST quantity of cake batter I have ever made in my life!  I started mixing the initial dry ingredients in my kitchenaid, but it got too full, so I ended up having to do the last few steps with a hand whisk.  Unless you have a party with like 15 people to go to, you might consider halving the recipe and using two layers instead.  This cake seriously could have fed like 30 people easily!

Oven: 350'

4 cups flour
4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup canola oil
2 cups water
4 eggs
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 TBSP baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP vanilla

4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla

Prepare your cake pans, I lightly buttered them, then added flour mainly to the sides.  I cut out circles of parchment paper, by tracing the bottom of the pan on the parchment paper and place the parchment paper inside each pan bottom.  HOLY COW, can't believe I've never used parchment paper in a cake pan, the cakes popped right out of the pan so easily!  I will always use parchment paper now!

For the cake, in a LARGE mixing bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and cocoa powder.  Set aside.  In saucepan, heat oil, water, and butter, until butter is melted.  Add melted butter mixture to dry ingredients, whisk together.  Add in eggs one at a time, scrape down sides.  Whisk in buttermilk.  This is where I had to switch to hand mixing, the bowl was too full (you might be lucky to have a 6Qt mixer and be okay).  Add baking soda, salt, and vanilla, mix to incorporate.  Pour into three 9" round cake pans (or 2 10").  I had so much batter, my 3 pans were more than 1/2 full.  The cake rose a lot in the oven, but when they cooled, the top came down and I didn't have to cut any off to make it flat when I assembled the cake.

Bake cakes 35-45 min, until a tester comes out clean.  Let cool on countertop for 15 min, then remove from pan and cool on rack until completely cooled (I let mine sit 3 hours).

For the icing, add the cream to a medium sized bowl.  Using an electric hand mixer, beat on high until stiff peaks form (consistency of cool whip)- if you over beat, it will get thick like butter.  It took mine about 4-5 minutes, so be patient.  Then, mix in the confectioner's sugar.  Frost the top of the bottom layer, stick on the next, frost the top of that, put on the third layer, frost all the sides and then finish off frosting the top.

Let side about 1 hour in the fridge, I left mine on the counter, my fridge was too full.  Then make the glaze.  Put the chocolate in a small bowl.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan until simmering. Pour the cream over the chocolate, let sit a few minutes, whisk together until smooth.  Add in corn syrup and vanilla, mix.  Then put in a small container with a spout for pouring, let sit 10 minutes to harden slightly. Pour over the top of the cake, I started in the center and swirled out in a spiral until I reached the edges and let it drip down.

I added some strawberries for color.

Now, for the fun part, eat it!  But, be careful if you think it looks cute on your tiny pedestal.  This is a LOT of cake, I was trying to show how big it was in this picture, but Hazel would not cooperate (however she is saying "cheese" and doing the "v-sign), but I hope you can see it's size compared to her.

When you cut it, watch out, because on your tiny pedestal, if one side is being cut to eat, the other side gets very heavy and this might happen:

My advice to you if you make this cake, put it on a plate or flat board.  Needless to say, I did not get any pictures of the nice slice showing the three layers.  I was proud of my hard work, you'll just have to trust me it looked pretty.  But at the cost of getting that picture, we all had a really good laugh and now it's in a trifle bowl.  It was very very good, and we will be eating it for days and days now!

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